Is Your Home's Toilet Wasting Your Water? Here's 4 Steps To Finding A High-Efficiency Replacement

While most homeowners don't think about their toilet much, it's a major source of your home's water usage. Replacing your toilet with one designed to save on water can save you a substantial amount of money on your home's water bill. This effect is even greater if you have a large family and your toilet sees more frequent use. If you want to replace your toilet with a more efficient one to reduce your water usage, here's what you need to do.

1. Measure Your Current Toilet's Rough-in

Before you even start shopping for a water-saving toilet, you'll need to measure the rough-in of your current toilet. The rough-in is the distance between the wall and the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor.

Most toilets on the market have a rough-in of twelve inches. If your rough-in is different, you need to keep that in mind while you're shopping; changing the rough-in requires re-positioning the toilet drain in your bathroom floor, which is needlessly expensive and involved when you're only replacing your toilet.

2. Choose a High-Efficiency Toilet

All toilets on the market are limited to a maximum of using 1.6 gallons of water every time they're flushed, and most of them use exactly that amount. High-efficiency toilets go under the water usage limit and store less water in their tanks. Typically, they use about two-thirds as much water per flush than a standard toilet. Over time, this adds up to a substantial reduction in your water usage.

3. Go for Pressure-Assisted Flushing

When the standards changed and toilets were limited to using 1.6 gallons per flush, many homeowners found that the new toilets coming out didn't perform very well. It often took multiple flushes to fully remove solid waste from the toilet bowl, which ruined any water savings from the new standard.

It took manufacturers some time to change the way their toilets were designed so that they'd remove solid waste in a single flush. Unfortunately, some of the high-efficiency toilets on the market still have this problem they're using even less water than the maximum limit. As a result, their flushing power is decreased even further.

Most toilets rely on gravity in order to flush waste from the toilet bowl. The volume of water rushing into the toilet creates pressure that carries it away. The problem is that a lower volume of water simply does not have enough pressure to remove large amounts of solid waste.

The solution is to purchase a toilet with pressure-assisted flushing. The tanks in these toilets pressurize water as they fill up, and this highly-pressurized water is released into the bowl when you flush the toilet. Holding the water under pressure allows you to fully remove solid waste while using much less water compared to toilets that rely solely on gravity to create water pressure.

4. Opt for Dual-Flush Technology

Dual-flush toilets have two different handles or buttons that you use to flush them. One is designed for solid waste and releases the full amount of water in the tank whereas the other handle is designed for liquid waste and only releases about half the water in the tank. Since liquid waste takes much less pressure to clear from the toilet bowl, a dual-flush toilet allows you to save water by only using as much as necessary to flush it.

Regardless of which toilet you choose, you'll want to have it installed by professional plumbing services. Removing your current toilet and installing a new one is best left to the professionals. Toilets that aren't secured to the ground correctly can rotate slightly whenever they're used, which can quickly break the wax ring on the bottom of the toilet. You also run the risk of flooding your bathroom if you break the toilet's supply line or connect it incorrectly. It's better to stay safe and have your toilet installed by professional plumbing services, so make sure you schedule an appointment once your new toilet arrives.